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Delegation of the Elders Visited CFAU and Held Talks with CFAU Teachers and Students

The Elders delegation paid a visit to China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) and held talks with our teachers and students on 2nd April, 2019. Headed by Ms. Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, the delegation of the Elders included four other members: Mr. Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations (UN); Mr. Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile; Mr. Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico; and Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, former foreign minister of Algeria.


Professor Qin Yaqing, president of CFAU, met with the delegation. Others present at the meeting were Professor Gao Fei, vice-president of CFAU; Professor Wei Ling, director of the Zhou Enlai Diplomatic Studies Center;Associate Professor Qu Bo, director of the Institute of International Relations; Associate Professor Wu Xiaoping, director of the Foreign Affairs Office at CFAU; and Qu Dan, deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office, CFAU.  


President Qin extended his welcome to the delegation of the Elders, with particular regards to Ms. Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, and Mr. Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the UN, for their revisit to CFAU. President Qin gave an introduction to CFAU and exchanged his views with the delegation on major global issues, multilateralism, climate change and global governance. The Elders delegation deemed it a great pleasure to visit CFAU and expressed their appreciation for the philosophy of CFAU and the quality of the students. They had in-depth discussions with representatives of CFAU about the requirements for young people in the new era, the cultivation of young talents, and other topics.     


After the meeting, the delegation of the Elders shared their observations on “Multilateralism” with CFAU teachers and students in Lecture Hall 419, CFAU. The event was presided over by President Qin. The five members of the delegation drew on their own experiences to express their opinions on a range of issues, including “multilateralism”, the status and role of the UN, climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and the requirements for young talents in the new era. Following their speeches, there were interactions between the students and the delegation on the relationship between the UN and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the reduction of carbon emissions, the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and other topics. At the conclusion of the exchange, our students were encouraged by Ms. Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, to work hard and make contributions to global governance and world peace.


At the end of the proceedings, President Qin provided a summary. He extended his gratitude to the Elders for their visit to CFAU. He encouraged the students of CFAU to work towards “global vision, responsibility and compassion” and to play their role in building a community with a shared future for mankind.


A Brief Introduction to the Elders:

Founded by Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, in July 2007, the Elders is an international non-governmental organization, composed of elder statesmen and former heads of essential international organizations. The organization aims to promote a negotiated settlement of global issues through dialogue, including conflicts, poverty and diseases.  


The Elders delegation to CFAU consisted of:

Ms. Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders, former President of Ireland (1990-1997), and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002)


Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of the Elders, Chairman of Boao Forum for Asia, former UN Secretary-General (2007-2016), and former South Korean Foreign Minister (2004-2006)


Mr. Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile (2000-2006), former UN Special Envoy on Climate Change (2007-2010)


Mr. Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico (1994-2000), and former member of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (2009)


Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria (1991-1993), UN Special Representative in Afghanistan (2001-2004) and UN Special Envoy to Iraq (2004)